Memento Mori (Asian Cinema)
Sound: B+ Extras: B- Film: A
Water wraps around the legs of a little Asian girl dressed
in schoolgirl attire. She sinks to the
bottom, clutching a red book in her small hands. The water engulfs her and bubbles start to escape her mouth. This is an example of the imagery of the
visually stunning film, Memento Mori.
The film succeeds in a place that most films don’t – it
creates suspense. Between the fast
cuts, the natural acting, and the innovative sound design – the film makes you
feel uneasy. You’re never quite sure
what is going on until another twist is thrown at you. You never know what is coming up next. The dialogue is witty and memorable. The acting is never over the top but right
on the mark. I really can’t tell you how happy I am seeing a film like this.
The film is about two troubled, yet ordinary girls. Within the first five minutes, we see how
irresponsible and immature they are.
They’re goofing off in class. They’re getting in trouble with their
peers and teachers. Nobody quite
understands them. Is it because they
have a sense of humor or because they’re out of control teenagers? The finding of a diary matures the girls
whilst at the same time, makes them stranger.
But the film is pretty strange itself.
It’s always face paced and doesn’t give you much room to breathe. Bodies are found, birds are let loose in
class, people and screaming, dying, and crying. The film is dark and has more guts than most films in its
genre. Imagine if a more intense,
R-rated cut of The Sixth Sense was made in Asia and you can start to
understand what you’re in for. This
film reminds me of another Tartan release I saw a few months ago, the
extraordinary Tales Of Two Sisters (with my review located elsewhere on
this site.) Both films have young women
as the main characters who are in two equally as creepy films.
The 5.1 DTS Surround Sound on this disc is superb. The sound of heartbeats pan and echo all
around you during key scenes. The music
and sound design on this film is haunting and keeps you hooked into the film at
The anamorphically enhanced 2:35.1 widescreen aspect ratio
on this disc is superb. The picture quality on this disc is off the
normal. The blues and whites are very
vibrant without while some of the darker colors can at times, be a bit too
deep. The colors are even through out
and bold and dark when they need to be.
The reds are very bright and contrast well over the white uniforms they
are usually attached too. Memento
Mori is a bloody film and Tartan has once again given us an impressive disc
to compliment an interesting film.
As for the extras, there’s a nice behind the scenes
documentary, photo gallery, and some trailers for some upcoming Tartan Asia
Extreme releases. I hope that Tartan in
the future gives this film a two disc special edition as they did with A
Tale of Two Sisters. However, this is a not – to – be missed film that
anyone interested in creepy suspense thrillers or good Asian Cinema should check
- Jamie Lockhart